Things have quieted down now, God. All five kids have been gone for years. D has been around more. I’ve missed him, although you know how I don’t like to admit that to him.
When D and I are together, I remember what it is about him that I’d always loved. He had a smile that captivated me, and eyes that made me feel like I was the only one in the room. He was jealous for me, passionate in his pursuit of me. When he got lost and struggled to find out who he was for all those years, I could hardly bear it. And, while I didn’t realize it at the time, I was shutting down a part of myself–the part that desired love but didn’t know how to show it.
I wonder if I am any good at loving him. I wonder if I am good at loving, at all.
It has been hard, these years, trying not to care even though I love with an intensity that makes my heart feel, sometimes, like it will surely explode. I know I have some healing to do about my parents. My grandmother loved me and held me and always wanted me close. But a part of me aches, I think, because my parents didn’t know how to love me like I am.
What do I do with all this love inside me, God? I decided, long ago, that the best way to love is to hold it all in. Is it okay continuing like this, trying to protect my heart? I think I do it at the expense of relationships that need me. How can I be present; how can I be all in; how can I pursue?
How do I show the people I love that I love them when I’m afraid to show all the love that I have to give?
My daughter, watch me coming. Watch me coming to rescue you. Watch me standing next to you, bending low and scooping you up, just like your grandmother did when you were a little girl. Watch me come to you, not holding back my love for you. I am yours. I am all in and I am with you and I am not going anywhere.
You are made with a fierce strength–but one that is now tender and raw and wounded. You have been trying to convince yourself you are okay, and you are. But let me be clear on this: you are only okay when you know that you are loved.
Do you know how much I love you, right now, just like you are, my darling? Do you know I always have?
Return now to the place where we began. Return to the place where you first knew me. Return to the moments when you knew I was close and when you believed I was so far away. Ask me to show you where I was. Ask me to show you how I held you, what I was doing in that moment.
Because in the moments with your dad, his head bent low, his back to you in his chair, I was with you, my daughter.
Because in the moments with your family all around the table and the chaos and the fight to be seen, I was with you, my daughter.
Because in the moments when the front door didn’t open and you tucked the children in and you slept by yourself, so many nights, I was with you, my daughter.
And I want you to hear this, my darling. I want you to know this and live like you believe it: You were never too much, my dear. You were never too much to love. You were never too much to spend time with, have fun with, dance with, laugh with, hold hands with. You are beautiful and you are cherished. Then. Always. Now.
Let me show you how I cherish you. Let me show you how precious you are to me. Let me show you how you are captivating and I can’t keep my eyes off of you.
You are the one I choose.
You are the one I’ve always wanted.
You are the one I want to be with.
Then. Always. Now.
Song to listen to: “Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)“, by Sandra McCracken
This is day 21 of Voice: 31 Conversations: Click the image below to find out more. Subscribe to follow along each day.